Agiasos and the Chestnut Festival

Agiasos is built on the slopes of Mount Olympus, surrounded by chestnut and pine forests. In the autumn the village holds a chestnut festival.

The picturesque village is filled with visitors from all over Lesvos, some from Greece and a few from further afield.

Massive piles of chestnuts are gathered locally and offered for sale. Chestnuts are boiled in huge pots or roast over open files to give to visitors to enjoy. The mix of steam and smoke can make the village quite surreal. Tavernas and Kafeneions are full and the entire village buzzes with voices. The annual chestnut festival is a fantastic day out in a stunning location. 

Agiasos is also a centre for wood carving and carpentry and some of the workshops can be visited on the main streets. The skill of these craftsmen is just amazing. They hand make furniture and items for churches all over the island. I stood in one workshop and breathed in the heady aroma of freshly worked wood. My father was a carpenter and I was instantly transported back 40 years to his workshop.

Agiasos is best known for Panagia ti Vrefokratousa. Pilgrims walk from Mytilene to Agiasos (approximately 40 km) to pay tribute to the miracle working icon on the feast day of the Panagia (August 15th). The icon was brought from Jerusalem by the priest Aghathon around 803. The church is beautiful and cool inside, even on the warmest sumer days.

It is best to park at the bottom of the village and walk up through the narrow streets. There are many places to eat and you will mostly enjoy the company of Greeks, both local and visitors to the famous church.

1st December 2012 Agiasos suffered devastating floods and landslides. Click here to see more.

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